Idaho's State Trade Expansion Program (STEP GRANT)

The STEP program is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and is administered by the Idaho Department of Commerce. This trade and export initiative provides matching-fund grants to states to assist "eligible small business concerns," to begin to export and to increase the value of exports for small businesses currently exporting.

Financial Assistance Awards – Option 1

Financial Assistance Award applications are due in early September for projects that are undertaken during the following fiscal year which starts October 1st immediately following the application and award process. This will be the only application period for Financial Assistance Awards (FAPs).

  • Competitive awards to facilitate eligible international marketing campaigns of company’s choice
  • Awards range from $3,000 minimum up to $15,000 maximum, 35% cash match required
  • Multiple awards per company are possible, however, only up to the maximum award amount of $15,000 cumulative across all project proposals and based upon availability of funds
  • Pre-award costs allowed for eligible expenses that fall within the Federal Fiscal year
  • Maximum number of awards vary year-to-year depending on grant availability; review and scoring process will be very competitive

Eligible Activities for Financial Assistance Awards include:

  • Governor’s or Foreign Trade Mission
  • Foreign Market Sales Trips
  • Services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Website translation to a foreign language, search engine optimization, localization services
  • Trade Shows – International or Domestic (supported/selected for the U.S. Department of Commerce International Buyer Program, see website)

Option #1 Guidelines for Financial Assistance Awards

Other Awards – Option 2

In addition to FAPs, the Idaho Department of Commerce (IDC) and Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) may choose to participate in International Trade Shows with Idaho Pavilions and Director Led Trade Missions. The application process and deadlines for these activities will be announced in October of each year.
Option #2 Guidelines for Industry Trade Show Participants

For more details, see Idaho Department of Commerce Website